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The Cons of Working From Home

Posted on November 11, 2015 in Life

Before Emeline was born life was flexible. I could sleep until 10am if I felt like it and I could take as long of a lunch as I pleased. I could avoid peak hours at the gym and getting to the bank or post office before they closed was never a problem. With no commute time and the ability to bring my work anywhere I could travel whereever and whenever I wanted. Sounds like the life doesn’t it? People always tell me they envy me when I tell them I work from home. No doubt, because of the reasons above, but working from home isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Some days I seriously long to go to an office. Let me explain the dark side of working from home.

After I started working from home my life began to lack any sort of schedule. I felt like there was less time in a day, but in reality I wasn’t as efficient as I was when I had a schedule. I became lazy about simple things like cleaning the house, mowing the lawn or grocery shopping. I woke up at different times every day and some days that was far too late; I felt like the sun was starting to set and I was just starting work, yuck. It is much easier to have a schedule when you have a reason to wake up and an external force to drive you. I find that I thrive when I am up early and if I am exceptionally efficient I can have work done and the house clean by 2 or 3pm. When you work from home you really have to muster the will to keep a schedule and be organized. Don’t sleep in everyday. Get up, get moving and get things done so you can experience what it feels like to relax, not living your who life in a relaxed state.

Solitude is a problem when you work from home. This is especially true if you move somewhere new. Yes, my husband works from home, but he is at home to work, not talk to me. The best thing about working in an office is the human interaction. How I miss grabbing a quick coffee and catching up on all the office gossip. The only chit chat going on at home pre-Emeline was my one sided conversations with the cats. On a side note, if you do work from home I recommend a pet. As outgoing as I am, making new friends is not easy when you work from home. You have to be ultra brave and just go up to people at the gym, local park or befriend that person you bought something from craig’s list from (yes, I have done this). It’s like being in a new school and finding a place to sit a lunch when no one has said more than two words to you all day, daunting.

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When you work from home with no one limiting how much you work you risk becoming a work-a-holic. With next to no social interaction in the UK (apart from my awesome friend Hannah) I found myself putting in 14 hour work days before Emeline was born. I could take work whenever I wanted it and I found myself constantly checking my e-mails. I was obsessed with working and glued to my computer because whenever I wasn’t working I knew I could have been making money.

One of the worst thing is that there is no clear cut home time or work time. I remember the feeling of coming home after a stressful day at work and feeling suddenly at ease when I got home. At home there was no work, I could relax and forget it all. That doesn’t happen when you work from home because the office is always just two steps away beckoning you to send just one more e-mail, which undoubtedly turns into more.

Out of sight NOT out of mind, when you work from home your baby knows you are home and they do expect food immediately if you are a breastfeeding mom! Even if you aren’t your baby wants to be with you not the Nanny. It has been difficult, but I’ve stopped myself from going down to Emeline every time I heard her start crying. I needed to let the nanny soothe her and for Emeline to feel comfortable with someone else having her back. Of course, if things gets out of control I have the nanny bring her up to me or Alvin. When it’s me and Emeline and times get tough I do ask Alvin to come give a helping hand. This is counter productive to his work day, but it is very difficult to hear your other half struggling and do nothing, so be prepared to be interrupted if you have a baby at home while you are.

Overall I do like working from home, but I wish I had more social interaction. At the end of the day the grass is always greener on the other side, and everyone is different. Here is a quick list of pros and cons.

Pros

Flexible work schedule (there will be deadlines and some jobs are not as flexible as others)
No commute
No work drama
No Boss scrutinizing your every move
No need to wear a uniform

Cons

Limited social interaction (this would be okay if you are established where you live)
It can be difficult to motivate yourself and keep organized and on schedule
Tough to resist working too much
No division between home and work
Work day can be disrupted if children are at home

Best TV Shows of 2015

Posted on November 9, 2015 in Life

I don’t watch much TV, but if there is a show on TV we happen to like it is nice to sit down with a cuppa and watch an episode or two. Here are my favorite shows of 2015.

Downton Abbey
A classic BBC period drama soon to be over unfortunately. While I am sure you’ve heard of this show, it follows the lives of an aristocratic English family in the early 1900s. A good combination of comedy and drama that I absoloutely recommend with an exceptional cast. In my opinion, you won’t be dissapointed; my husband and his bestfriend are also fans of the show.

The Flash
DC Comics anyone? To be completely honest this show fell upon us randomly. We wanted to watch TV one night and there were no shows we liked at the moment, or so we thought. Well, we went into most popular TV shows on our Sky Box and closed our eyes (my husband did anyway) and clicked. The Flash was what we landed on. One episode in and we were hooked! The show follows the life of a young Barry Allen as The Flash. There is comedy, romance, destruction, deception, love and a great cast all intwined into one. Even if you aren’t into superhero shows I think you should still give it a shot. I’ll admit though it took a while for me to really like the main character while I fell in love with the rest of the cast straight off

Modern Family
I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t a fan of this show. My friends used to have it on after work, but it never hooked me. I think the reason was because it is on once a week for only 20 minutes as opposed to an hour or 40 minutes that most shows are. I only began to like it when we started from the begining and watched it every night. I am a huge fan of the large cast and it is the perfect quick pick me up if I’m having a bad or weird day. Not to mention this show is mommy friendly as I say because each episode is only 20 minutes.

50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy
Of all the shows I have mentioned this is by far my favorite. If you are in the USA and this isn’t on TV you HAVE to find it online and watch it. Thirty-Eight year old Baz Ashmawy takes his seventy year old mother on an adventure trip around the world. Yes, that is right an adventure holiday. From rollercoasters to the world’s highest skydive, seventy year old Nancy learns to shoot guns in Florida, performes with ladyboys in Thailand, goes hunting for taurantulas in Cambodia and even trains as one of Santa’s elf in Lapland. This show is hilariously unscripted and will make you re-consider what it means to get older.

It is November now and I’ll soon be switching over to Christmas movies, but I’d love to add some new shows to my must watch list, so comment below and tell me your favorite TV series.

(Due to copyright policies there are no photos, sorry!)

Happy Halloween

Posted on October 31, 2015 in Life

People have been wishing me a Happy Halloween over the past week here in England. Of course, I respond with a smile and a thank you, but inside I am seriously wondering why the heck they are wishing me a happy Halloween when it isn’t Halloween yet. Halloween isn’t the kind of holiday I want to linger like Christmas. Christmas is the sort of holiday that gives you warm happy feelings. Halloween is the sort of holiday that gives you the creeps. It can also give you feelings of regret on account of how much candy or alcohol or both you consumed. These are not the kind of feelings I want to stick around. I think for me one night of horror is all I need for the year. Possibly a horror film mid-summer if I really feel like going crazy. This is not to say that Halloween isn’t filled with laughter. Oh, there will be laughter and screams, lots of them. It is amazing how alive Halloween can make you feel when it is a celebration of the dead.

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So, happy trick or treating everyone! Good luck and be safe!

We will be home handing out candy watching Halloween movies no doubt or catching up on The Flash.

PETS SHOULD NOT BE OUTSIDE ON HALLOWEEN NIGHT!
Be sure to keep your dogs and cats shut into their own cozy room tonight and not free to escape outside if you’re handing out candy!

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Babies Don’t Keep

Posted on October 30, 2015 in Life

Hello Everyone!

I genuinely hope whoever is reading this is having a good day. Today has been a long one, but a really good one! For the first time Emeline settled into a sleep routine! I really hope this happens tomorrow because we have been trying for a while now to get this down.  That is what made the day good. What made the day long was that I have only just now finished working at 7 and now the house needs cleaning, dinner needs cooking and I just now realized how hungry I am!

I was walking in the park today with Emeline and I noticed that the leaves are almost completely gone from the trees. I suddenly realized that Emeline’s favorite thing to look at will soon be gone and when the leaves finally do come back she will be almost one and probably won’t be interested in them. Soooo, I am coming up on my final days of Emeline’s excitement every time I push the stroller under a tree. Her face just lights up with delight, if you could see it. Every day I bring her outside and let her touch the leaves and I used to set her stroller facing a tree in the summer for a nap and when she woke up she would just lay there watching the leaves in the wind.

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I’ll stop myself now, but the point here is that babies grow so fast! One day they have a cute gesture or expression and suddenly it’s gone. You didn’t know it was going to be the last, but it was. I know that with a child there will be many last times and some will be harder than others. The worst thing about the last time with a baby is that you don’t know it is going to be that last time! I wish now that I had just soaked it all up even when times were difficult. Just 6 and a half months ago my baby was born and I have already forget how small she was and how she used to act at certain ages. I wish I had written it all down in a book and taken more videos. I have plenty of pictures, but they don’t let you re-live the moment like a film does.

That is my plan now, to blog more, vlog more and write things down. I still haven’t taken Emeline’s hand/feet prints, but I will this weekend. And every time my baby is crying, won’t sleep or being difficult I am going to try to laugh it off, be patient and deal with it. I’ll tell myself it won’t be like this forever and maybe then I’ll remember to take it all in and enjoy. Yes, even the worst times.

The cleaning and scrubbing
Can wait ’til tomorrow
For babies grow up,
I’ve learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust, go to sleep.
I’m nursing my baby,
And babies don’t keep.

Adapted from “Song for a Fifth Child,” by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

It is truly amazing to watch a new person explore the world they now live in. It must be like magic. I find myself looking at things and trying to see them the way Emeline does, patterns I’ve never acknowledged, textures I’ve felt so many times I don’t pay attention. I am still very much me, but becoming a mother has made me see the world in a new light. One thing is for sure, I certainly cry more easily now.

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I challenge anyone reading this to take a video today of what you are doing and who is with you or make a memory, something you can look back at in years to come like an ornament for Christmas or a picture, because you won’t ever have this moment again. Good or bad, in years to come you can look back and smile, see how you’ve changed or be proud you got through that time.

In closing, I am happy to say that with children there will also be many first.

Lemon 🙂

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My Most Embarrassing Moment

Posted on October 21, 2015 in Life

I know everyone has horrible and hilarious embarrassing moments from times past (thank goodness they are past). Tonight, I’d like to share one of my own with you for a laugh.

This is by far one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, at least that I can remember, thank God I’ve forgotten the others!

Let’s go back to 2010. My last year at University and I was taking an 8 hour Saturday TEFL course. For those who do not know TEFL is Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Well, during the course we would teach real ESL students and be observed by our fellow students and two teacher trainers.

I must admit that I was feeling on top of the world during the course. I had never got any negative remarks from my fellow students or the teachers who were observing me. There was also one teacher trainer in particular who everyone wanted to impress. She was super cool and adorable, the kind of person everyone has a mini-crush on on and wants to like them. I forget her name now.

Eventually, the time had come for her to watch me teach. I wasn’t worried and went along with my preparations before class. My two closest classmates were watching me too, so I felt great and super confident. Perhaps a little too confident.

Everything was going perfectly until I started writing on the white board. Oh my, doesn’t it just take one tiny mistake for everything to go downhill? I turned around and looked up to see my one of my students raising his hand. Of course, I call on him and he asks…

‘Teacher, what is poop people?”

POOP PEOPLE!?!?!? Really, are you serious, Trista? My eyes quickly shot up at the board and, yup, I had written poop people instead of poor people. Lord knows why the hell I wrote poop people. Poop isn’t exactly a word I had been frequently writing, maybe now, but certainly not in 2010!

Needless to say, everyone observing the class started dying of laughter. The students didn’t get it, so I was able to quickly change the spelling and save my butt there (no pun intended), but trying to go on after that?! The rest of my lesson was in shambles, but I had to play it cool. On account of my jitters, I tried to have a sip of water only to miss my mouth. It had been a rough morning and I had thrown on the closest articles clothing at the time, a white shirt with a pink bra, MISTAKE.

Of course, the entire school had heard about what happened about five minutes after my class had ended. I was mortified. I will never forget that. It was the longest day.

Fortunately, I survived and here I am today. I can safely say I have never made that mistake again.

What are your most embarrassing moments? If you dare to share them, comment below!

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